House Speaker Paul Ryan avoided talking about his party's candidate for president during a policy speech to campus Republicans at UW-Madison
"Look, I know this election has taken some dark - sometimes very dark - turns."
Speaker Ryan has not responded publicly to Donald Trump's comments calling Ryan weak and ineffective. But he had no problem going after Hillary Clinton's policies.
"You see, when Hillary Clinton says we are 'stronger together,' what she means is we are stronger if we are all subject to these rules."
The Republican party's leading voice in the House never mentioned Trump's name. Instead, Ryan told college Republicans that liberal policies have failed America.
"You see the left - they are not challenging the system, they're rigging the system."
Students submitted questions before the event, and Ryan answered several about policy. No questions were asked about Trump.
Governor Walker's son Alex - who helped organize the event and has condemned Trump's lewd comments - says students wanted to hear Ryan talk policy.
"I think what we are going to see is a lot of young people, they care about the issues," said Walker. "We don't care about the personality as much as the substance."
Abby Ferree was in the audience for Ryan's speech and Q and A with students.
"The way I'm looking at the election is that it's more important to focus on the policy," said Ferree, "and not past issues that the two candidates have had."
After the event, students for Hillary Clinton were quick to respond: They're not buying what Ryan is saying.
"She has a plan to make everyone succeed, she's not someone to just tell yourself to pull yourself up by the bootstraps," said Eliana Locke. "She's saying the government can help you, we can help you succeed."
Clinton supporter Natalie Halbrooks blames the campaign's harsh tones on Trump. "She knows this campaign is about so much more than the hate he is trying to spread."
A Ryan spokesperson says the Speaker tried to answer as many students questions in the time allotted and he did not filter out any questions about Trump.